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Roger Goodell joins referee negotiations, according to report

 

Roger Goodell became involved with negotiations between the NFL and referees' association last week. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Roger Goodell became "personally involved" with negotiations between the NFL and NFL Referees Association three times last week, including Sunday's talks, ESPN.com's Chris Mortensen reported.

From Mortensen's report:

Goodell joined the league's lead negotiators, Bob Batterman and Jeff Pash, who met with the NFLRA's lead negotiators, Scott Green and Mike Arnold, for several hours Sunday without reaching an agreement on a new CBA for locked-out officials.

While no new face-to-face negotiations were scheduled because of "significant differences," both sides were expected to maintain communication, still hopeful of narrowing the gap, sources said.

SI.com's Peter King reported Sunday that the league and NFLRA had met on Sunday until nearly 9 p.m. with a federal mediator. But the talks fell apart without any hint of a new deal, and the two sides did not schedule any future talks.

The NFL locked out its officials in June, and replacement referees' follies have become a major storyline through the first three weeks of the season.

After the Patriots lost to the Ravens Sunday night, New England head coach Bill Belichick grabbed a referee after saying he was looking for an "explanation" for some calls during the game. (He faces a possible fine for the contact.) And SI.com's Chris Burke detailed some of the other Week 3 controversies, including one referee awarding the San Francisco 49ers a fourth timeout.

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